Saturday, February 23, 2013

Week 21: Feb. 20- 26, 2013 (Day 141-147)

Week 21:

Wed. Feb. 20, 2013—Day 141:
Destination:  Rock Sound to Governors Harbour
Departure:  0755 hrs.                   Arrival:  1305 hrs.                              Distance: 23.06 NM
Winds:  NE 5K increasing to 8K                                         Seas:  calm
Weather:  glorious day of sunshine & few scattered clouds

'Second Option'-- Hunter 45.5
Terri & Bill checking anchor with look bucket
An incredibly calm quiet night; mirror water this morning—wouldn’t you know it!  We were certainly anchored well in sand; the chain & anchor required a wash down of the caked sand.  A few boats left yesterday, but most of us left this am.  At low tide we motored out to Sound Point waypoint, then it was coral head watch out to Kemp Point waypoint where we turned more north & beyond.  We saw a shark hovering around the periphery of a coral patch & further along a huge turtle & finally dolphins swimming amongst the boats anchored in Governors Harbour.  The winds had shifted & increased in intensity enough that we were able to fly the jenny—cruising speed a whapping 5.5K.  It was such a calm glorious day I was able to lie out on the deck & read.  We anchored at low rising tide laying 130 ft. chain in 14 ft. water, as the bottom is hard & holding is not known to be the greatest; we checked the anchor with the look bucket.  First stop ashore was the bakery (0700-1700 hrs. each day & closed on Sunday), then we walked a couple of the main streets, but all the bars & restaurants were closed; is this because it was Wed.?  Happy hour on ‘Second Option’; their fridge is not working as it should once again.  We were entertained with Junkanoo practice music for an hour after supper; I believe there was an announcement on the radio that this Sat. was their annual fund raiser. A glorious sunset with perfect conditions for a green flash, but that was not the case.  A spectacular red sky.  A 2/3 moon was visible during the afternoon & particularly bright in the evening sky & a clear night sky of stars.

Thurs. Feb. 21, 2013—Day 142:
Destination:  Governors Harbour to Twin Sisters Beach, Glass Window
Departure:  0805 hrs.                    Arrival:  1235 hrs.                                     Distance:  22 NM 
Winds:  E 10-18K increasing by evening to ENE to E 15-20K              Seas:  max. 1 ft.
Weather:  sunny, blue skies & clouds late pm near sunset

Glass Window
Incredible interference noise with Chris Parker’s broadcast that was most annoying as well as it made it very difficult to hear the broadcast.  Our departure went as planned.  The jenny was unfurled & we had a leisurely motorsail at 5.2 to 6.2K as the wind speed fluctuated.  It was necessary to pay attention at all times for fish traps, both the old yellow & small variety & the new larger & more apparent white round markers.  Surprisingly we saw no marine life.  We heard & made contact with ‘Plumpuppet’ & ‘Gemini’, bound for Royal Island from Ships Channel via the Fleming Channel & Abacos via NE Providence Channel in the am.  We were also able to hear the US Coast Guard.  We passed Alabaster Bay, Hackett Bay, Gregorytown & finally to Twin Sisters Beach just south of the Glass Window Bridge.  We anchored with 100 ft. chain in 10 ft. water, although we could have anchored closer to the shore for better protection & less rolly boat motion.  Mid afternoon we dinghied ashore & explored both sides of Queens Highway for 2 hrs.— the crashing indigo blue Atlantic vs the calm aqua/turquoise Exuma Sound. ‘Second Option’ invited us over for grilled lobster on the BBQ with rice & beans—yummy, yummy!  A clouded sunset & partial cloud & partial clear night sky with a bright ¾ moon & stars.

Twin Sisters Beach, Glass Window
Fri. Feb. 22, 2013—Day 143:
Destination:  Twins Sisters Beach to Spanish Wells, St. George Cay
Departure:  0755 hrs.                     Arrival:  1200                                    Distance:  19.09 NM
Winds:  E 13-19K, gusting late pm to 20-22K                            Seas:  1 ft. waves + 2-4 ft. rollers
Weather:  cloudy, then quite sunny before the clouds returned mid pm & sunset

A great sailing day!
A little rolly last night & again this am, but it didn’t seem to interrupt our sleep.  After weather from SSB we lifted the dinghy engine & dinghy.  It also was a rolly ride out in Exuma Sound to Current Cut, with an east wind on our stern, to the point that I dare not read for fear of becoming seasick.  We had the jenny only rolled partly out & still cruising at 5.7K.  The clouds dissipated to a mostly sunny morning.  As planned, at 0950 hrs. we were travelling through Current Cut on a rising tide, therefore a 5K current was at our transom pushing us through the deep 35 ft. cut between Eleuthera Island & Current Island at a speed of 10.1K!  In no time we were out into the calmer, sheltered, crystal clear aqua & turquoise water on the other side . We reset the jenny & had a great beam reach sail at 6.0K.  Terri & Bill without question were going to a marina; Graeme decided we would splurge & do so as well—it had been 56 straight days at anchor.  Thus reservations were made at Spanish Wells Yacht Haven ($1.50/ ft. + $0.65/kwh for electricity + $0.20/ gal. for water).  On a falling tide approaching max. low tide, we made our way through the channel that sports a new white mooring ball to starboard, then port to the marina.  Both guys did super landings into fixed, long finger slips.  Once the lines were set & after lunch, we registered, then laundry—2 loads (2 wash + 2 dry) X $3.00= $12.00 (only 1 washer & 1 dryer in marina) & internet while waiting (password= spanish1).  Graeme filled our boat tanks with 3 water jerry cans & hunted for a M19 fan belt, but no success.  Terri & Bill were over after their laundry, showers & defrosting their freezer for a late day drink.  A late supper for all of us.  I then had my wonderful, running hot water shower!  A cloudy sunset with few hints of pink sky.  A light cloud cover & clear sky of stars & bright ¾ moon.

Sat. Feb. 23, 2013—Day 144:
Destination:  Spanish Wells
Winds:  E 15K in am  to S 10-20K in afternoon & SE <10K at night
Weather:  sunny with threatening rain clouds around now & again in am, but sun +++ in pm
Too long together?
Damn, it was most difficult to hear Chris this am; too much interference being in a marina.  It looks like the weather has changed according to him, not in our favour of course with stronger winds & constant reinforcing cold fronts each day for an extended period of time mid next week.  We rented a golf cart for a day with Terri & Bill ($50.00/ day or $15.00 per hour).  The 1st order of business was filling the diesel jerry cans with diesel ($5.72/ gal).  Then we toured around the island from one end to the other, including Russell Island, stopping frequently to explore shops & enjoying the cleanliness of the island, the well manicured yards & the colourful painted homes; there were many homes for sale this year unlike past years.  A few groceries were purchased at Food Fair + 1 loaf of bread ($5.50) from Kathy’s Bakery (open M- Sat. at 0900 hrs.) & returned our purchases to the boat.  Our lunch stop was at ‘The Gap’, cracked conch for me, & no booze if you can imagine for anyone as this is a dry island.  Then we walked part of gorgeous long the beach at low tide; soft, powdery white sand & small shells & breaktaking colour of the water.  We finished our touring at 1615 hrs.  Still stuffed from lunch, we just drank margaritas till dark, compliments of Terri & Bill.  No visible sunset, some pink sky before darkness set in.  A mostly clear night sky with stars & bright near full moon with a few clouds.
Margaritas till dark

Sun. Feb. 24, 2013—Day 145:
Destination:  Spanish Wells Yacht Haven to Royal Island
Departure:  1020 hrs.                         Arrival:  1140 hrs.                               Distance:  5.39 NM
Winds: SW 10-12K, decreasing later afternoon & evening to 5K & less               Seas:  1 ft. chop
Weather:  warm, humid, sunny & blue sky

Happy 65th Birthday Larry!!!
A warm humid night; the sheets felt more wet than damp, but nevertheless I slept.  Early morning real warm showers again for both of us before breakfast.  Graeme filled the boat’s water tanks & quickly washed the deck, outsides of the hatches & windows & a half-assed wash down of the cockpit.  Shortly after 0900 hrs. we made a birthday phone call to Larry as this was his 65th; everyone talked to him.  Quickly we decided to leave now, 2 hrs. before max. low tide rather than wait till 1400 hrs., 2 hrs. into a rising tide; we believe there might be a lot of boats in the Royal Island anchorage as we stage for departures tomorrow.  An uneventful departure from the slip & marina.  It was a motor ride to Royal Island as the wind was on the nose.  We were the 8th & 9th boats in, for a total for the night of 13.  Then it was an afternoon of polishing off another novel & doing suduko, lying in the sun on the deck on such a most beautiful warm day, while Graeme finished the novel I later started.  I saw a ray leap out of the water twice.  Late afternoon ‘Eleohn’ surprised us with their arrival; they had left Allans Cay this morning parting ways with ‘Southern Bound’ as they headed to Nassau—they may leave their boat there till next season.  ‘Eleohn’ planned to wait out the upcoming cold front in Spanish Wells, then head to the Florida Keys & up the west coast home to the Panhandle.  ‘Truansea’ was still in Georgetown & about 2-3 weeks behind.  The winds steadily decreased; some heavy cloud to the SW but pink sky to the west.  A bright & clear night because of the full moon & stars.

Mon. Feb. 25, 23013—Day 146:
Destination:  Royal Island, Eleuthera to Lynyard Cay, Abacos
Departure:  0630 hrs.                        Arrival:  1545 hrs.                                     Distance:  56 NM
Winds:  SE 14K to SSE-S 8-13K & calm after sunset             Seas: 1 ft. waves, 2-4 ft. swell
Weather:  hot & sunny, increased cloud closer to the Abacos

Another warm & humid night, & lots of moisture on the exterior.  It was necessary for Graeme to wipe the enclosure & dodger windows.  The clouds at dawn dissipated as we, the 1st boats to leave, exited the anchorage at high tide.  The jenny was rolled partially out with a 14K SE wind; boat speed= 6.5K as we proceeded south of Little Egg Island & the unmarked airplane wreck, giving it a wide berth.  We jibbed onto a port tack & rolled the rest of the jenny out on a broad reach with seas so far about 1 ft. & no swell, until we were well in the NE New Providence Channel.  Here the swells increased & the winds shifted to a more southerly direction, producing a sideways rockin ‘n rollin action which subsequently knocked the wind out of the sail.  We spent a couple of hours jibbing downwind doing more distance than gaining any speed or benefit, resulting in the boats behind us passed us.  Finally at 1430 hrs. we rolled the jenny in; perhaps it would have been more beneficial to use the DRS.  Terri & Bill had caught a 3-4 ft.  mahi mahi, gaffed it to the transom but then it slipped away.  The passage through the cut at high tide & with the calm sea conditions was a non issue.  We took a new route to starboard towards then along the Lynyard Cay shoreline, anchoring in 15 ft. ? grass & 120 ft. chain,  whereas Terri & Bill took 4-5 attempts to get their Fortress anchor to hold; we were just lucky.  Also they had torn the loop in the tack of the main, so took it down, repaired it on their Sail Rite sewing machine, then rehoisted the sail.  I phoned Mom to announce our arrival in the Abacos.  Wide bands of red sky after the sun had set behind Great Abaco Island.  A very bright full moon (official day) in a clear night sky of stars.

Tues. Feb. 26, 2013—Day 147:
Destination:  Lynyard Cay to Marsh Harbour
Departure:  0800 hrs.                                   Arrival:  1135 hrs.                           Distance:  19.5 NM
Winds:  S 13-20K
Weather:  partially sunny & cloudy

After a quiet night, the south wind increased at dawn.  Chris confirmed unfortunately the arrival of yet another cold front, increased winds from a northerly & westerly direction X 10 days, not ideal direction for Marsh Harbour, so we may need to change location as required.  The waves were crashing through Bar Channel & it was a little rolly going passed but really not bad.  We continued short distances from waypoint to waypoint using a partial jenny & jibbing as required.  We were hailed by a number of friends, both old & new as we made our passage.  And as expected Marsh Harbour was crowded.  Barb & Ken (Plumpuppet—met in 2009) dinghied over on their way to dominoes & swimming respectively.  Louiselle & Ken (Fair Winds) at individual times came over to say hello & told us of their adventures.  When a boat closeby up anchored, we too relocated in the vacated area.  Arrangements were made for happy hour then dinner with many friends at Snappas—Barb & Ken (Plumpuppet), Terri & Bill (Second Option), Irene & Phil (Plan B) & Jody (just flew in this am) & Joe (Gemini).  Home soon after 2000 hrs.  Sorry, I did not pay attention to the sunset.  Partial cloud with the full moon obscured & partial clear sky of stars, but an amazing number of anchor lights that shone in the night sky—not so dark. 

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